Post Office strike hurting grant beneficiaries

2018-07-18 06:02

THOUSANDS of workers at the South African Post Office (SAPO) and Telkom downed tools on July 6 to demand higher wages.

They are affiliated to three unions — the Communication Workers’, Customs and Democratic Postal and Communications unions, GroundUp reported.

The workers are demanding a 12% increase, but SAPO insists it can only afford an across-the-board salary increase of six percent for all employees from August 1.

The strike has left hundreds of social grant beneficiaries stranded. In Pietermaritzburg, beneficiaries were seen standing in snaking lines outside the Post Office in Langalibalele Street.

Nomzamo Khuse from Sweet­water had been standing in line since 5 am, she said: “When we came, the doors were closed. The employees told us they cannot help us. They said they have

embarked on a strike. It’s clear that we will go home without being paid.”

A Post Office employee who asked not to be named, said staff became upset because they have not received a pay increase in three years.

“There is an overload of work. We work overtime but we are not paid well.

“The work is strenuous since we are working with the beneficiaries.

“We open at 5 am and go home at 8.30 pm. It’s more work but less money.”

Another Post Office employee, Jabulani Mtungwa, said: “We now service many people. That is a challenge. They need to improve the systems. They make working very difficult. We love our jobs but there are challenges ...”

In a statement issued on July 6, SAPO urged beneficiaries affected by the strike to withdraw their grants at ATMs and other retail stores.

SAPO will be returning to the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) with union representatives on Monday.

The strike is expected to continue this week, says provincial secretary of the Communication Workers’ Union, Thami Mzileni.

On Sunday, Mzileni told GroundUp that workers were planning to “shut down the CBD” on July 13, with MTN employees also expected to join the action this week.

This comes as SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) employees affiliated to the Public Servants’ Association (PSA) are expected to head back to the negotiation table with the agency.

— GroundUp.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.